• About AAPT
  • Endowment of Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award

Endowment of Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award


College Park, Maryland, United States, February 18, 2011

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has announced that an endowment has been established for the Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award through a generous gift from Paul W. and Barbara S. Zitzewitz.

Established as the Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award in 1993, the award has been renamed for Paul W. Zitzewitz, the principal author of the highly acclaimed and widely adopted high school physics text Physics: Principles and Problemsand a long-time member and supporter of AAPT. The Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching pre-college physics. The recipient must be an AAPT member for whom pre-college teaching is a primary responsibility.

Regarding his decision to endow this award, Zitzewitz said, “AAPT, both the organization and members, have provided help throughout my 36-year teaching career. Over these years I have benefited from the community's involvement with issues such as the Keller plan, software illustrating special relativity, do-it-yourself interfacing to the Commodore 64 and Apple II, capturing video for motion analysis, implementing results of PER in the lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and labs in introductory courses, developing courses for future elementary teachers, and electronics and advanced lab courses. The resources, including journal articles, workshops and talks at meetings, publications, but even more face-to-face and online discussions with leaders in these developments, significantly improved my teaching and benefited hundreds of students.

In 1984 I was given the opportunity to revise the high school textbook Physics: Principles and Problemspublished by Merrill. I have continued to write new editions as the publisher has changed many times to the present company, McGraw-Hill. Over these years I have profited from discussions and collaborations with a wide variety of high school teachers from the Detroit area, the state of Michigan, and the country. Most of these knowledgeable and dedicated teachers have been AAPT members. AAPT members have also been valuable contributors and co-authors in many of the editions of the textbook.

Given what the AAPT community means to me, it is appropriate that I use some of the proceeds from the textbook to help recognize outstanding pre-college teachers who are inspiring and educating the next generation of physicists, teachers, and citizens who will be able to understand and participate in a science- and technology-rich future.”

About the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching
Additional information about this award, including past winners and a nomination form are available at http://aapt.org/Programs/awards/precollege.cfm

About AAPT:The AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education—with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, mgardner@aapt.org, (301)209- 3306, (301)209-0845 (Fax)